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4 May, 2014

Lower dependence on foreign consultants – Bangladesh PM tells nation

DHAKA, May 4, 2014 (BSS)-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought support of the local engineers to lessen dependence on foreign consultants while preparing and executing development projects particularly big ones.

In this regard, she urged Engineers Institute of Bangladesh (IEB) to constitute some teams with their members to provide consultancy services to the government in taking and implementing public sector projects.

Inaugurating the 55th Convention of IEB (IEB) here yesterday, the Prime Minister said, “You’re the sons of this soil. Huge public money was spent for you to be engineer. Now it’s your turn to pay off.”

“Foreign consultants are taking away a large amount of resources of the development projects despite we have a brilliant and competent manpower,” she said.

Local consultants, from now, would get priority in the consultancy services in public sector projects, she said, adding, “I want your wholehearted support in this regard.”

She added: “We no more want to misuse any public money for hiring foreign consultants. You need only self-confidence and sense of self-dignity for this.”

President of IEB Shamimuzzaman Basunia, honourary general secretary of IEB Mia Mohammad Quiyum and chairman of IEB Dhaka centre Mohsin Ali and secretary Shariful Islam Sharif also spoke on the occasion.

Renowned educationist former vice chancellor of BUET Professor Emeritus Abdul Matin Patwari was given IEB Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution to the society.

The Prime Minister conferred AMIEB degree on 50 engineers and distributed certificate of professional engineer to 42 engineers on the occasion.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, foreigners could play ‘political game’ with Padma Bridge Project due to our dependence on them. “They fell back as we decided to build the bridge with our own resources,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said, our experts have already shown their expertise while implementing a number of projects including flyovers and by- pass roads and Hatirjheel project.

“Bangladesh is doing better than other countries in fighting poverty, power production, stabilizing economy amid global recession and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). So the country is able to move forward its development,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina urged the engineers to invigorate their research activities to find out the ways for highest exploitation of marine resources, efficient and cost effective tapping of solar energy, building low cost housing for poor, rain water harvesting, improving the navigation of the rivers and mechanization of agriculture.

She expressed her utter disappointment for destroying the city’s drainage system and ponds while implementing many urban development projects in the capital in the past urging engineers to be careful to this particular areas in future.

Recalling the contribution of country’s some brilliant engineers to flourish the engineering studies and profession in the country, the Prime Minister said, engineers are the main architects of country’s development and production activities. “The country will quickly proceed to development depending on their sincerity and competence,” she said.

Pointing out the steps taken by her government for development of the IEB and its members, Sheikh Hasina said, “I will only expect that you will always keep our support in mind and devote you for the nation’s progress.”

The Prime Minister said, her government taking office in 1996, had allocated Taka 47 crore for the BITs (Bangladesh Institute of Technologies). The amount was later spent for upgrading the institutes into universities.

The then Awami League government framed laws for establishment of 12 new science and technology universities and out of those the government has established seven universities during its last tenure.

Sheikh Hasina said, the government is always careful about the legitimate demands of the engineers. The post of the heads of PWD, R&H, LGRD, railway and PHED and Rajuk has been upgraded to class-one officer without any demand from the engineers, she said.

The Prime Minister said, her government has formulated a time befitting education policy to build a science and technology based education. A total of 4,551 Union Information and Service Centre (UISC) were set up across the country facilitating people to have internet technology in their hand.

Around 4.78 crore people of Bangladesh now have access to internet while they use over 11 crore SIM card, she said, adding, people of Bangladesh is far ahead in using technology comparing to other countries with same socio-economic condition.

Laying importance on putting place a world-class engineering education, she said, the government would extend all cooperation for advancement of the engineering education.